Updated: January 2021
Job loss is devastating for most people. It’s a lot to digest on top of the fears around unemployment and finding a new job. In this blog post we will share 4 practical tips for picking up the pieces and moving forward towards landing a new job.
I was recently working with a client who had lost her job after spending 16 years with her company. She was what you might think of as the ideal employee any company would be lucky to have: consistently punctual, always climbing the corporate ladder and absolutely in love with her job. What more could she (or her company) ask for? One day she was called into a meeting and received the news that no one ever wants to hear: The company she had tirelessly put all her sweat into, decided they didn’t need her or her position anymore. As she shared the story with me in a coaching session, she was devastated and lost for words. She was having a hard enough time coping but even more difficult was the thought of focusing on a new job search. Can you imagine why? The truth is her feelings were hurt!
Knowing that expressing her feelings would be an equally important part of the process, I gave her the opportunity to vent. I knew she needed it especially before mustering up the courage to start the job search. She was wondering:
“How could they let me go after all the hard work, dedication and ideas I put into the company? How can I afford to survive? Who is going to want to hire me now? I feel worthless and meaningless!”
Maybe you can relate?
Losing a job is never a fun thing and you are allowed to feel devastated temporarily, however wallowing in discouragement can prevent you from receiving what lies ahead. There comes a time when we have to kick it back into gear. We have to find the thing that keeps us going and remind ourselves about the truth of who we are. If this is you, feeling terrible about yourself or the circumstances you’re facing, I’m here to tell you there is hope after job loss. Here are some tips to help you pick yourself back up again!
1. Start by Processing the Pain
If you want to make it to the other side – the happy side of gainful employment you gotta process the pain. It’s the same with any healing process. Allow yourself to feel the thing that’s ticking you off, angering you or even fueling your fears on searching for a new job and being financially unstable. You owe it to yourself to be in touch with how you feel. Don’t try to swallow or repress the pain because it will only come back later.
One of the hardest times in my life was when I was unemployed. I thought to myself, “What the heck did I do wrong to end up without a job?! I’m educated, well connected…” I knew about the job search process (not as much as I do now of course). I took my time applying to a target number of jobs every day and strategically reached out to my network. I decide “every day when I’m done with my 8 job applications I’m going to go in the backyard and scream.” It became my ritual, I felt so much better and I processed the pain. My neighbors thought I was crazy, but eventually I got over the rejection and received some interview call backs too!
2. Move the Heck On!
How about some tough love for you! No one can wallow in pain forever. Life goes on and so will your job search if you allow it. Become productive. Ask yourself: “What can I do to make my life and the odds of landing an opportunity, better?” Make a goal of how many jobs to apply to in a day, how many networking coffee dates to have a month or hire a career coach to assist you in the process. Whatever your strategy for finding a job, develop it and move on quickly. The job search takes work and you won’t produce any leads or interviews by crying over spilled milk.
3. Same Person Then, Same Person Now: Still Awesome!
Quick reminder: You are still awesome! You are the same person that landed the job you had. Meaning: you still have positive qualities, strengths, and abilities. Remind yourself of what those are. So often clients feel sorry for themselves so much so that they forget how dynamic they are. One of my greatest enjoyments as a coach is helping clients renew their sense of self- esteem. Losing a job can feel like a punch in the gut but you have to fight back by affirming who you are and how awesome you are. Many of my clients have made their job or career their identities. Therefore losing a job can feel like identity loss. But it couldn’t be father than the truth. Your professional value is not defined by your career status. Your greatness doesn’t go away because a job does. So look in the mirror give yourself a wink and put your best foot forward.
4. Redefine Your Employment Terms
Guess what? Losing a job is like getting a do-over in life. Yup, you get to ask yourself what do I really want to do this time around? What are those employer red flags that I will absolutely be avoiding? Now is a great time to pursue that career change or career pivot you’ve always been entertaining. Think about what you want from your new employment terms and count it a blessing you’re given the chance to ask for them. I’ve found both personally and through my clients, that often times a job loss ends up being a much bigger blessing. You may not be able to see it now but give it a little time. You will.
5. Start Making Your New Career Plan
After you’ve taken the time to mourn the loss, recall your brilliant qualities, and reconsider potential new career paths, it’s time to start making a career plan. You don’t have to have all the answers (and you probably won’t this early on) but even a skeleton outline can help. We are visual creatures so just being able to see some ideas on paper can give a major boost.
“I have been reviewing your videos and I want to tell you that I am very impressed, nothing like what I got before with anybody! It has inspired me to start again, building a master resume with all what I have done, going through asking and knowing sincerely myself and about what I really liked the most of my full time jobs and trying to get my branding statement. I get it. The other career membership sites have nothing compared with your straightforward, real guidance.”
– Luisa B., Job Search Accelerator Member
6. Start Your Job Search
After you’ve created your plan, it’s time to start the job search. It may sound like a ginormous task but it’s easier than you think. Don’t bite it all off at once. Take baby steps into your job search. It’s like eating an elephant. You can’t eat the whole thing at once. Just start with one bite. Here is a simple 8-step roadmap I use to help break down all the parts of the job search. One resource I also recommend for new job searchers is the Job Search Accelerator. Not only does the Accelerator have every job search resource you could possibly imagine but it also has a 9-week bootcamp designed to get you moving in the right direction with expert career guidance. You will also have video tutorials on topics like LinkedIn or resume tailoring for a career change to name a few. These few resources alone will give you a renewed sense of progress. I created this Accelerator program specifically for people struggling in the job search so it’s beneficial particularly during times of job loss.
If you’re hoping to improve job search and land a job in record time, check out the Job Search Accelerator. In this budget-friendly job landing community you’ll have access to all of Noelle’s expert resources including a FREE resume review, optimized resume and cover letter templates, networking scripts and templates, LinkedIn optimization courses, interview answer scripts and more – everything you need to feel confident, navigate the job search successfully, and put your best foot forward as an applicant.